An important question to consider as many churches begin to enter stewardship season: Does the tithe count if some of the 10% does not go to the church? The Rev. Canon Frank Logue of the Diocese of Georgia reflects on this important question in his "Loose Canon" blog. What say you, good Episcopal Cafe readers? How do you "count the tithe" at your church?
Viewing Stewardship Broadly
From Frank Logue in the Loose Canon blog
Does the tithe have to go to your church to count? That question comes from a reader who appropriately called into question something I wrote in a recent column, The Trouble with Tithing. The questioned stemmed from my stating that our average pledge in the Diocese of Georgia is $3,200 per year. While that’s true, and while it is also true that this is one sign that a majority of parishioners do not tithe, these statements alone do not show if someone tithes. For it is possible to give both to one’s church and to give beyond the church as well to make up the tithe. The reader who emailed noted that she and her husband have long given 5% of their gross income to the church and another 5% to other good and Godly charities doing Christ’s work in the world. This balance mattered to her as churches are important, but they do not all provide a lot of concrete work to alleviate the problems folks face.
So, while it is not popular for a pastor to say it, I have for years taught that while my wife and I give all of our tithe to the church, that is not required . . .